Commonwealth v. VelezAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court vacated Defendant’s motion for a new trial and remanded this case for an evidentiary hearing, holding that an evidentiary hearing was necessary under the circumstances of this case.
Defendant was convicted of two counts of murder in the first degree. Defendant filed a motion for a new trial arguing that his trial counsel provided ineffective assistance by pursuing an impracticable third-party culprit defense rather than defenses based on Defendant’s mental health or intoxication. The motion judge denied the motion without holding an evidentiary hearing. The Supreme Court remanded the case, holding that an evidentiary hearing was necessary in order to determine whether trial counsel’s strategy was reasonable in light of Defendant’s particular mental health history.